Sadistic Heian Aristocrat

A new study has revealed evidence linking a Heian aristocrat to the creation of sixteen readings for the 生 kanji.

Researchers discovered that the sadistic nobleman gained pleasure from other people’s grief and wore all black because he believed it had a slimming effect.

The readings include ‘sho’, ‘sei’, ‘i’(kiru), ‘u’(mareru), ‘o’(u), ‘ha’(eru), ‘ki’, ‘nama’, ‘na’(ru), ‘mu’(su), and a few others that are not used in normal life.

“This recently unearthed depiction of the Heian aristocrat illustrates his method of sitting on a block of tatami while pondering the most outrageous reading combinations,” writes one researcher.

Researchers have questioned the sanity of a man that conceives the syllables of ‘sei’, ‘nama’, and ‘ki’ from one kanji character.

“Here we see the nobleman with scroll in hand smugly devising yet another kanji reading.”

Researchers have named the portrait, “Pondering Readings for Pleasure”, which will be exhibited in the Tokyo National Museum from late July.


  1. Isn’t this exactly what poets do? Aren’t they supposed to utilize language and contemplate over the use of every single word?